BEHAVIORAL AND MENTAL DISORDERS
GENETICS, ADOPTION AND MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS
Antisocial Behaviors and Adoption
Several studies show that children adopted at birth from "antisocial biologic backgrounds" exhibit increased antisocial behaviors. One study evaluated 246 adoptees separated at birth from their biologic parents. One or both birth parents of nearly half the children had a psychiatric condition. Children were evaluated after age 10 years.
Having an antisocial or alcoholic birth parent predicted antisocial behavior in the adoptee at adolescence. Environmental factors, including a psychiatrically ill adoptive family member, divorced adoptive parents, or exposure to multiple foster mothers, also significantly correlated with antisocial behavior among the adoptees. In addition, mental retardation in the biologic family of the female adoptees predicted increased antisocial behavior.
From THE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION MEDICINE by Laurie C. Miller. © 2004 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Used by Permission.